Issue 46 • Week of November 27, 2022
Uneaten leftovers and scraps from our Thanksgiving feasts just surpassed 300 million pounds of food – almost one pound per American.
Yet our mountains of edible garbage extend far beyond any single day. A family of four typically wastes $2,000 in unused groceries every year. Households represent the largest factor in food waste and are followed closely by grocers, cafeterias, and restaurants. In total, we discard up to 40% of the food we produce as a nation after including surplus from farms and manufacturers.
Throwing out over 100 million tons of food is a travesty in a country where 34 million people are food insecure. Consumers now discard more than twice the food they did 20 years ago, contributing to a third more overall food waste since 1975. However, political apathy toward what FDR once described as the freedom from want is not the only problem arising amidst our agricultural abundance.